Friday, March 18, 2016

Suicide Squad

It's do-or-die time for our Olympic team, so that should mean all age-appropriate hands on deck. Yup, I think the senior side can deal with Guatemala without their youngest guns. Here is the squad I would call to battle Colombia (not that I expect to get all of it), with game one starters in boldface type:

Horvath, Cropper, Steffen

Yedlin, Brooks, Miazga, Acosta, Carter-Vickers, Miller, Turner

Trapp, Hyndman, Pulisic, Zelalam, Polster, Gil, Delgado

Kiesewetter, Morris, Green, Arriola, Shelton, Rodriguez
Just missing out: Joya, Hernandez, Zimmerman, Villarreal, K. Scott, Sorto

Unfit: Ocegueda, Rubin, Okuonwu, Pelosi, Dean

Frankly, to me, this line-up practically picks itself. Pulisic handles restarts, and I'd expect a lot given the opponent's tendency and the crazy legs we have working the front line. I am normally against bringing only seven defenders in competitive situations, but Polster can provide cover for both DM and CB. Some may snort at the choice of Gil, but he's experienced in these situations, has game-changer skills and is off to a decent start in Liga MX. As you can see, the attack bench has speed and quickness to burn.

- Greg Seltzer


Tom said...

I might run Arriola or Shelton out instead of Green, given they've both had recent games with their teams, etc. OTOH, good stuff. I hope you're right.

Connor Walsh said...

I'd go even stronger than that even, and throw in some fresh blood eager to make an immediate impact:

Delgado left a bad taste in my mouth after the U-20 WC. I'd replace him with Russell Canouse.

Instead of Green getting the start, how about calling up Kenny Saief, who's tearing it up in Belgium on the left flank?

Call in a proper big man: Theoson Siebatcheu. Maybe we've not reached out to him yet, but I'm unsure why we wouldn't have. If not him, then Andrija Novakovic?


Greg Seltzer said...

I'll tackle these player questions one at a time...

- I understand how it flies under the radar, but Green has been consistently warm all season for Bayern II. He has 10 goals in 23 games, including four in his last five starts. He may also be the US U-23 attacker most likely to win danger free kicks, which you all know I love.

- But yeah, Arriola or Shelton would be good choices. They'd also be potentially devastating bench pieces.

- Concerning Delgado, the U20WC was essentially eons ago. I've been increasingly impressed with play ever since for TFC.

- Yeah, I considered Canouse, but I don't think he's the starter. Combining that and the fact that he just had his B'liga debut, I kinda prefer he stay focused on cracking the H'heim rotation. Besides, Polster is 1) used to dealing with much more responsibility & 2) can act as CB cover (unlike Canouse).

- Saief just accepted an Israel call-up this week. Plus, he'd require a time-consuming FIFA switch.

- Last I heard, Siebatcheu was not interested in focusing on international play. But yeah, he'd be good to have. I just don't think it's feasible to rely on him right now.

- Novakovic has not exactly had a good season, especially in recent months. And he was supposedly going to break through to the Reading first team this year. He's also never played at the U23 levelo and hasn't appeared in RW&B for 18 months. I just don't think next week is the time to bring in blood *that* fresh. If I were to insist on a straight-up power forward, it would be Hernandez - but I think Rodriguez can offer enough of that type of game for us.

Tom said...

I had seen that Green was producing with Bayern II, and that is a very good rate of production. Also good point about bringing some real direct, fast flyers off the bench for a different look (and to challenge tired legs).

Nikolas said...

Would probably start Gil over Pulisic for experience's sake--but otherwise in agreement.

DaM said...

@Nikolas Not entirely sure how Gil has looked in Liga MX, i know he;s getting some run, but Pulisic is getting Bundesliga and Euro comp minutes. Just played a solid 30 against spurs. It's not champion league experience but has to be at least as valuable as u23 qualifying experience. I have been really disappointed with Gil's recent u23 appearances. Hasn't really dictated much from the 10 shirt at all.

That being said, I think I would agree with Canouse over delgado. I like the minutes Delgado has played for TFC but it has been basically as an attacking player. Not sure with all the attacking talent ahead of him that he's someone who needs to be there.

Also not enamored of Acosta at LB, especially starting... I just haven't seen any ability for him to cross with his left foot. Really hope you are right about JB and Yedlin. Have to wonder if Yedlin, JB, Miazga, Acosta would be our most talented youth back 4 ever.